CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot said she’s “enthusiastic” about getting the Blackhawks to play games in Chicago this summer.
The NHL had to suspend its season in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. The league is looking to restart games later this summer, and the changed-up format means the Blackhawks — who struggled during the regular season — will now play the Oilers to try to make it to the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The league is still hammering out details, but its Return to Play Plan suggests all of the remaining games would be played in just two “hub” cities to reduce travel.
Chicago is being considered as one of the hub cities, as are Los Angeles, Dallas and Las Vegas, among others.
The games would likely be played without crowds, Lightfoot said during a Thursday press conference, but she still wants to bring them to Chicago.
“All of these decisions are still in discussion at the league level,” Lightfoot said. “I’m really enthusiastic about the possibility of getting hockey playoffs here in Chicago.
“… We are a hockey city, we’re one of the original franchises in the league. … I’m gonna do everything I can to support the efforts of the Blackhawks and others to bring hockey playoffs to Chicago.”
There’s no set date for when the games would begin, but it’d be no earlier than the second half of July, according to the league’s plan.
Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.
Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.